MARCO ISLAND — Planning Board member Irv Povlow summed up the challenges in allowing frequent resort rental dwellings in residential neighborhoods on Marco at the Planning Board meeting Friday.
“This Island is severely divided between real estate people needing to make money in a challenging market and people living year in and year out wanting peace and quiet in the neighborhood,” Povlow said.
The Planning Board reviewed a new discussion draft for an ordinance to allow and regulate resort rentals in residential neighborhoods. The short-term rentals are defined as those which rent as frequently as once in a week up to six months.
Kelly Linmann who owns rental properties on Island said he doesn’t think six month rentals are short-term. He said the problem properties reported on Island as repeatedly violating noise, trash and parking codes are those renting for one or two weeks. He added 30 days or less should be defined as short term.
Code Enforcement Officers Eric Wardle and Liz Carr nodded in agreement.
Whether to include condominiums in the regulations returned for another round of debate Friday.
Fire Chief Mike Murphy and planning board members Vince Magee, Brian Moss and Povlow thought condos should be included for safety reasons, fairness to all property types and payment of income taxes. The idea lost steam with a 4-3 vote in favor of not including condos in the pending ordinance.
While bed taxes were another economic reason for including condominiums, retired Finance Director Bill Harrison said Tuesday that bed taxes cannot be levied by the city on such properties.
Ken Honecker, a neighbor to a nuisance rental, said strict enforcement of current state laws against nuisance properties, whether renter or owner-occupied, could solve the problem.
Honecker said he opposed permitted use and favored conditional use permits for short term rentals because conditional use allows more flexibility by City Council to tweak the regulations in the future.
Wardle agreed saying conditional use also gave him the tool he needed by allowing revocation of the permit.
Fines and registration fees will be reviewed at a future meeting and Wardle said he hopes calculation of them will be based on covering actual city costs.
The issue will be under review again tentatively scheduled 9 a.m. Friday, May 15 in the Community Room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. The most recent discussion draft, dated March 27, is available in the left sidebar above.